A decade ago windshields perform a single function—protect the driver and passenger from wind, dust, and debris without impairing visibility. Then the drivers were left to do all the necessary steps for defensive driving.
But over the last decade, innovation helped integrate a system into the vehicles made to assist drivers. They are called, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS).
These high-tech systems are often integrated with the vehicles’ windshields. This begs the question: Do you need ADAS recalibration when you replace your windshield?
In this article, we’ll discuss the basics of ADAS and why recalibration is important when you replace your windshield. We’ll also talk about the cost of recalibrating your ADAS, how it’s recalibrated, and what happens if you don’t recalibrate.
So if you’ve recently replaced your windshield or are about to change it, read along.
Why ADAS Recalibration is Important After Replacing Your Windshield
Your car’s ADAS uses a camera to read the road conditions and interacts with your braking system. This results in your vehicle being able to slow down and stop quickly to prevent you from having a collision.
To answer the original question, we’ve asked ADAS experts from Metro Auto Glass to give their thoughts on the topic. “Recalibrating your ADAS is very important to maintain the safety and accuracy of these systems,” says the team at Metro Auto Glass.
“Each glass has different a composition which can cause misalignment of the camera from one glass panel to the next. This can cause the braking system to act too early or too late,” they added.
Car experts agree with these claims. The consensus of car experts is that even if the system doesn’t show any errors on the dashboard, it might be displaying what it thinks is right rather than what is physically right.
This is why having this system checked and recalibrated whenever you change your windshield is highly recommended.
What Happens if Your Don’t Recalibrate
ADAS systems have no way of self-diagnosing if it is out of alignment. Hence, it might still think it is performing what it’s intended to do accurately despite the wrong input of information.
That said, ADAS can provide pedestrian detection, collision avoidance, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, and automatic emergency braking.
If this system is out of alignment it can lead to malfunction resulting in sudden breaking or at worst a full-blown collission accident.
How is ADAS Recalibrated?
There are two ways to recalibrate an ADAS. Dynamic recalibration involves driving the vehicle at a specific speed and distance with a handheld device plugged into the system. It checks whether the vehicle’s ADAS is reading accurately.
The other recalibration method is static recalibration and it is used about 70% of the time. Static recalibration takes place in a workshop using the Autel MaxiSys ADAS calibration tool, a tool kit that’s composed of diagnostic tablets, calibration fixtures, targets, and accessories.
Once completed, most service providers will issue a certificate stating your ADAS system has been recalibrated.
How Much Does it Cost to Have ADAS Recalibrated?
The price of ADAS recalibration varies between cities and service providers. Also, this service may be bundled together as part of your windscreen replacement which is the perfect time to get it done.
Some vehicles require universal recalibration which means they would need to be recalibrated via static and dynamic recalibration. In this case, the cost of service can increase which may be upward of several hundred dollars.
You could argue that ADAS recalibration is expensive, and depending on the service provider they can be. But as of the moment, there is no way to do it yourself safely without training or equipment.
Furthermore, spending some extra bucks is worth it to ensure your safety. A calibrated ADAS can not only save your life, it could also help you save money in the long run by avoiding accidents.
Where to Have ADAS Recalibrated?
ADAS recalibration is done by professionally trained technicians from auto glass shops or directly from car manufacturers.
A word of caution. If your vehicle has an Advanced Driver Assistance System and you needed to replace your windshield, or it would have to be removed for any other reason (like repainting), always ask the service provider if they have an ADAS recalibrating equipment.
If they don’t have recalibrating equipment or if they claim no recalibration is required because you’re using the exact same windshield, leave the shop and find another service provider. Chances are, they have no training in modern vehicles and they don’t have much knowledge of ADAS.
Your vehicle’s system has no way of self-diagnosing if the cameras are misaligned. Hence, performing ADAS recalibration is an important step after changing your vehicle’s windshield even if it’s showing no signals or warnings.
Failure to do so can lead to the malfunctioning of your vehicle’s ADAS functions or worst an accident. Recalibration is done in two ways, dynamic and static, but some vehicles require both which can increase the costs.
Only trained technicians can recalibrate your ADAS. If you ever need to change your windshield, make sure your service provider is equipped for recalibration.